Full Circle

Full Circle

Galatians Part 11

This is the last post in the Galatians series, and has taken me a long time.

What was supposed to be a sprint through the book turned into a bit of a slog. It was meant to have been written in some pool time on Holiday in Morocco in September, The original idea was to do a Lectio Divina on the book, then go back over the book and blog on the points that stood out. I was expecting 2 or 3 points.

In the end only two things stood out, The inability of a religious following of rules to save us and What it means to be church. All other themes in the book were glossed over. These themes were not neatly in two sections of the book but wove together through the book. What could have been two blogs in two weeks has spread to eleven blogs over six weeks as real life, and wanting to blog on topical issues have eaten into my blogging time.

But Paul has not yet finished, and neither have I. There’s one section of the book of Galatians left:

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which[b] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 

From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. Galatians 6:11-18

Nothing new here, but this time it is personal. Paul, who has used a scribe up to this point is finishing the letter in his own hand.

What I have learned from this are two things, one is the context of being in a different culture, which is closer to that of the setting of the letter sets things into context.

The other thing I have learned is that in the past what I have meant by describing my faith as a journey was wrong. Not wrong because it isn’t like a journey, but wrong for being too individualistic. Like the pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales we are travelling from different places but with one destination. The Christian Faith is not like a journey we take alone, or individually with God. The Christian Faith is a pilgrimage we take together.

The end.

 

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